Dr. Jose F. Moreno, a candidate for Anaheim City Council, wrote a March 2016 letter to a judge seeking probation instead of jail time for his brother-in-law charged with multiple counts of domestic abuse against Moreno’s sister-in-law Mauri Ramirez. The details of the abuse over several years are horrific to read.
Here’s the copy of the press release, court documents, police reports and Moreno’s letter to the Judge seeking probation and no jail time for his brother-in-law, with Moreno himself stating he would be comfortable with his brother-in-law caring for his underage daughters. Additionally, there’s an anonymous letter Ramirez sent to Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.
Here’s the press release issued today on behalf of Mauri Ramirez who tells us she has watched Dr. Moreno’s videos on Facebook and could no longer keep silent about his and his wife’s treatment of her as she tries to finalize the settlement of her divorce from Moreno’s abusive and now incarcerated brother-in-law:
Fearing for Her Safety, Sister-In-Law of Anaheim City Council Candidate Speaks Out About Surviving Years of Domestic Violence
Survivor documents years of abuse, stalking and criminal behavior at hands of ex-husband as well as victim-shaming by Family of Candidate Jose F. Moreno
ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Mauri Ramirez is worried. For herself, her children and even the City of Anaheim. The consequences of this election are personal in a way few of us will ever understand. That is why she has decided to come forward and publicly share her story of survival from horrific domestic abuse and ongoing court proceedings that pit her against some very powerful political forces in the city of Anaheim.
Although sentenced to four and a half years in March 2016 and currently incarcerated at the North LA County Detention Facility in Castaic Lake, Ignacio Ramirez, Mauri’s husband of 20 years, is set to be released in May 2017 – perhaps even earlier should Proposition 57 pass in California. Ramirez was sentenced following a criminal jury trial that found him guilty of felon stalking, harassment, breaking a previously court ordered restraining order, and domestic abuse. While the prospect of his release frightens her, it is his family connections that concerns her even more. Ramirez is the brother-in-law of Jose F. Moreno, candidate for Anaheim City Council.
“The family knew their brother was violent, this wasn’t an isolated incident,” says Mrs. Ramirez who divorced Ignacio in November 2011 and has yet to finalize a settlement. “Over the last 10 years he has done two stints in rehab, there have been 29 police reports against him, five restraining orders (criminal and civil), and, finally, a jury trial at which the family was present.” (See Attachment A)
Dr. Jose F. Moreno participated in that final criminal proceeding in March 2016, by writing a letter on the defendant’s behalf asking for leniency, probation and/or no jail time. When she learned a few short weeks ago that her former brother-in-law was running for Anaheim Council, the survivor, with encouragement from her children, decided she had to speak out and share her story. (See Attachment B)
The criminal case, which was handled out of Long Beach in California Superior Court, was well publicized at the time. Included in the testimony was a detailed history of the defendant’s past actions. (See Attachment C – Timeline). At the time, Deputy City Prosecutor Pooja Kumar said in a statement to the media, “Given the defendant’s menacing behavior toward his own family and his repeated failure to obey court orders, jail is the right outcome for this abuser.”
“Ignacio Ramirez is a domestic terrorist, there’s really no other description for it,” Says Mauri about the actions of her ex-husband. “But what I’m really most alarmed by is the behavior of his family. Through all the abuse, stalking and violence toward me and our children, even the criminal proceedings, they did not help us and have gone so far as to deny there is a problem and blame me.”
It is the ongoing blame and harassment that have fueled her concerns. Ramirez fears what will happen when Ignacio is released and if her former brother-in-law is in a position of power as a city councilman in Anaheim with the support of the City’s Mayor. “…if I’m not on record and something happens, will anyone know the truth?” she says.
Lorena Moreno, sister to Ignacio and wife of Jose F. Moreno, has been given power of attorney over Ignacio’s affairs and has, according to Ms. Ramirez, consistently blocked attempts to finalize the divorce settlement and court ordered restitution from her abuser. Ms. Ramirez’ attorney is in the process of filing a plea to facilitate a settlement and provide Ms. Ramirez with the closure she seeks.
Having rebuilt her life and moved her sons away from the home in Long Beach where so much pain and sadness occurred, Mauri had little contact with the family other than court appearances. But an innocuous Facebook post showing her ex-husband with the beloved family dog that had been reported stolen to police, changed all that. The dog, who Mauri credits with saving her life, attacked Ignacio during the last incident of abuse in which he choked her by the throat.
“I saw the photo and thought…they are hypocrites; they really don’t care. Then I saw the campaign posts and could not believe how the family was positioning themselves,” explains Mauri. “How can someone claim to stand for the people and be dedicated to helping strangers when they wouldn’t lift a finger to save their own family members from violence?”
She began to reach out to tell her story although she was admittedly tenuous at first, sending an anonymous letter to the Anaheim Mayor two weeks ago. (Attachment D) She has also sent letters and emails to the other candidates and the Orange County Democratic Party.
Mauri Ramirez’ goal is simple, to become a strong voice for domestic violence survivors who are afraid to speak up against their abusers and those who enable them – even if they are powerful. She is hopeful that Proposition 57 does not pass, intending to advocate for abusers to serve their full time and her story, she hopes, will help ensure her children’s continued safety.
# # #
Long Beach Press Telegram
Long Beach Post
Long Beach Patch
In his March 2016 letter to Judge, Moreno wrote (in one long paragraph; certain sentences bolded by me for emphasis) :
Dear Honorable Judge Halim Dhanidia,
Please accept this letter of support for Ignacio Ramirez’s sentencing hearing in hopes that the court will impose probation rather than jail time. My name is Dr. Jose F. Moreno and I am Ignacio’s brother-in-law as I have been married to his sister Lorena for over 16 years. I am also a Professor of Latino Education & Policy Studies at CSU Long Beach in the Chicano &Latino Studies Department. I have known Ignacio for over 20 years and can state with full confidence that what Ignacio needs, above all else, is a compassionate and supportive environment as he continues to cope with a difficult divorce and limited access to his sons. Ignacio is surrounded by a caring and giving family including his three sisters and three brother-in-laws. I can say without reservation that I fully trust Ignacio with the care of my daughters when the need arises. Ignacio is a wonderful uncle to our four girls as he is playful and nurturing. He expresses concern for their well-being, inquires with care about his school work and social well-being, and always makes sure that they feel support from their “tio Iggy”. As a member of the extended family for over 20 years I have had the chance to talk with Ignacio about many issues both personal and professional. Although our lives are always on the run given the hectic nature of our respective professional careers, I am certain that what would be most beneficial to Ignacio is to continue his ongoing work with trained professionals (counseling) and to allow him to continue in his professional career amidst his extended family. I am fully committed to doing whatever is needed to support Ignacio. To remove Ignacio from structured support that is centered in his family environment could be devastating. I do wish to add that I was quite distressed when I learned about his actions in violating the court-ordered restraining orders. I am certain he recognizes the gravity of his violation of those orders and the negative effects those actions have had on him and his family. I am fully confident he will not violate those orders again. Indeed, I will make every effort personally to provide Ignacio whatever support I can give to assure he is respectful and in accordance with any requirements required of his probation.
Thank you for your time and consideration of my plea for Ignacio to received probation rather than jail time. Ignacio is a determined, intelligent, and caring human being who made terrible decisions in violating his court orders. I again express full confidence that he along with the rest of his family, along with myself, will be that much more determined to positively move forward and away from the tragic nature of a very difficult spearatin and divorce.
Signed/Dr. Jose F. Moreno.
All I can say is wow. I need a shower after reading the reports of abuse and the letter. If this were my brother-in-law, I’d keep him as far away from my children as possible.
We have reached out to Dr. Moreno for a comment which I will run fully and completely. He has not responded to a text sent to his phone.
As I was drafting this, AnaheimBlog beat me to the story. Here’s their post.